Guardians (71-78) vs. Rangers (82-66) Match-Up Preview | 9/17 1:40 PM EST

September 17, 2023

Andy Billman

Series Finale Against the Texas Rangers


3 Things Preview For Today’s Game:

1 – Gaga for Gavin 

Gavin Williams will be on the mound on Sunday, attempting to complete the sweep of the Texas Rangers.  The Rangers have not announced a starter, as it sounds like it will be a bullpen game for Texas. 

2 – Bibee Latest 

According to manager Terry Francona, Tanner Bibee left Saturday’s game with what they are now officially calling right hip impingement. Bibee will get an MRI on Sunday, fingers crossed.

3 – 13 Games Left 

Heading down the stretch, the Guardians have 13 games left in 2023.  Currently, they are one game above the Detroit Tigers for second place and seven behind the Minnesota Twins. 


Guardians Notes

The Guardians are enduring a challenging season and, unless a significant turnaround occurs, they will likely miss the postseason. While Gavin Williams has shown promise in recent starts, his overall performance this season has been lackluster, allowing 31 runs in 76 innings pitched. Furthermore, his statistics, including a .247 expected opponent batting average, a 39.4% ground ball percentage, and a 4.41 expected ERA, indicate that opponents have had little trouble making contact and driving in runs against Williams.

Although Williams has faced difficulties, the Guardians’ lineup has also been a letdown this year, averaging just 4.02 runs per game. Josh Naylor has been a standout performer with a .306/.347/.503 slash line, 17 home runs, and 199 total bases. Similarly, Jose Ramirez has delivered with a .278/.352/.483 slash line, 23 home runs, and 266 total bases. However, the remaining members of the lineup have struggled, with only three batters posting an OPS+ above 100. Consequently, opposing pitchers have had an easier time neutralizing the underperforming lineup.

GUARDIANS TRENDS AND STATS

  • The Guardians have played as the favorite in four of their past 10 games and won one of those contests.
  • In its last 10 games with a total, Cleveland and its opponents have failed to hit the over five times.
  • There has not been a spread set for any of the Guardians’ last 10 games.
  • This season, the Guardians have won 35 out of the 65 games, or 53.8%, in which they’ve been favored.
  • Cleveland has a record of 31-30, a 50.8% win rate when favored by -120 or more by bookmakers this season.
  • The implied probability of a win from the Guardians, based on the money line, is 54.5%.
  • Cleveland has scored 603 runs (just 4.1 per game) this season, which ranks 27th in MLB.
  • The Guardians have the seventh-ranked team ERA across all MLB pitching staffs (3.96).

Rangers Notes

The Rangers are in the midst of an impressive season, and they are optimistic that a strong finish will secure them a wild-card spot in the American League. Andrew Heaney is set to start the upcoming game, aiming to bounce back from a challenging season in which he has allowed 67 runs in 136 innings pitched. However, it’s worth noting that he faces tough opposition, as indicated by his .422 expected opponent Slugging Percentage, a high 10.2 Barrel Percentage, and an expected ERA of 4.53, suggesting that opponents are consistently making solid contact and driving in runs with ease.

Despite Heaney’s struggles, the team’s lineup has risen to the occasion, averaging an impressive 5.56 runs per game. Corey Seager has been particularly outstanding, boasting a slash line of .344/.406/.663 with 31 home runs and 276 total bases. Nathaniel Lowe has also been contributing significantly with a slash line of .277/.376/.435, 16 home runs, and 245 total bases. Notably, the rest of the lineup has also delivered strong performances. Marcus Semien is slashing .278/.349/.468 with 24 home runs and 285 total bases, while Jonah Heim and Mitch Garver have collectively added 34 home runs and 317 total bases, providing valuable depth to the team’s batting order.

Rangers Stats and Insights

RANGERS PROBABLE PITCHER – Andrew Heaney

RANGERS TRENDS

  • The Texas Rangers rank 2nd in the league for hits this season (1362).
  • The Texas Rangers rank 2nd in the league for doubles this season (308).

Final Thoughts/Pick

The Guardians are aiming to finish this series on a high note, but the Rangers are determined to solidify their spot in the postseason and seize control of the game right from the opening inning. Given the Rangers’ impressive average of 5.56 runs per game, they are expected to score runs with ease, thanks to the contributions of players like Corey Seager, Nathaniel Lowe, and the rest of the lineup, who possess the ability to make solid contact and drive the ball effectively. Additionally, the Rangers should be able to stifle the Guardians’ lineup, as Andrew Heaney is poised to deliver multiple strong innings on the mound before handing over the reins to the bullpen while holding a lead. With a robust performance away from home, the Rangers are poised to secure a victory in this game.

Our Pick: Take Rangers and the Money Line

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